Friday, March 22, 2019

A Few of My Favourite Things

As a wildlife and nature photographer, I am always amazed at the things that I find on my travels around Manitoba.  This province is so rich with what it has to share with us, if we just keep our eyes open and look for opportunities that are all around us.  With such abundance and beauty, I am never at a loss for anything to photograph.  These are just a few of my favourites over the last year.

Mr Wood Duck and I are having a chat about the weather.

Male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) and I are having a chat about the weather.

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The Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) ~ Manitoba’s Provincial Bird

What is so special about the Great Gray Owl and how did it become the Province of Manitoba (Canada) Provincial Bird?  One of the most sought after birds in North America, ranking 6th among 50 most wanted birds, the Great Gray Owl has been seen in larger numbers in Manitoba than many other places in Canada. 

Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) with a Cap of White.

Great Gray Owls listening for voles during a winter snowfall

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Birds of Southwest Manitoba

Manitoba has 379 bird species spread throughout the Province, with each region holding some special, sometimes rare and endangered birds.  Southwest Manitoba is one of my favourite areas to find a few of these, and I often make trips to Pelican Lake, Whitewater Lake, Southwestern Manitoba Mixed Grass Prairie and Oak Lake to see what I can find.

The Yellow-Headed Blackbird coming in for a landing, is commonly seen along the marshes of SW Manitoba

The Yellow-Headed Blackbird is commonly seen along the marshes of SW Manitoba

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In Search of the Holy Grail

Except in this case there may be a number of different Holy Grails, all depending on what your favourite Manitoba Wildflower is.  Manitoba is home to hundreds of different wildflowers, shrubs, grasses and trees and based on what your personal favourites are, the search for the holy grail could lead you far and wide to all parts of our Province and beyond.

Prairie Crocus (Pulsatilla ludoviciana), Manitoba's Provincial Flower.

The  Prairie Crocus (Pulsatilla ludoviciana), Manitoba's Provincial Flower.

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It’s Been Awhile

The last blog I posted was in 2015, shortly after moving from SW Manitoba back to Winnipeg.  At that time I underwent some things in my life and just didn’t seem to have the energy or desire to write a blog, or to deal with things I was going through.  Now, fast forward to 2018 and I have decided it’s time to write again and share some of my photos and experiences in a blog.  In June of 2016 I made a decision to change from an Olympus camera system to a Nikon camera system and chose a full frame body with a couple of lenses to get me started.  I figured it would be pretty easy to learn a new camera.  After all, I had been taking pictures with a DSLR for 9 years by this time, so how hard could it really be?  Well, it was a lot harder than I thought.  Sure, the basics are the same no matter which camera I use, but when you are trying to put a lens onto a body turning it the wrong way, because that’s what you’ve been doing for the last 9 years, you know you are in trouble.  So now after close to 2 years working with the Nikon, I feel comfortable with it and know where most buttons and menu items are, but there are a few that I don’t use that often and still have to figure them out when I am shooting my normal, every day pictures. 

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One of my first photos taken with the Nikon D750 was this old railway trestle bridge along Pelican Lake

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